December 10, 2021
On November 27th, I photographed Dena and George’s Grand Marquis Wedding in Old Bridge, NJ! These two had a traditional Greek wedding ceremony at Kimisis Greek Church followed by a lively wedding reception that featured Karpathos musicians and plenty of Greek dances. Their romantic and classic wedding was filled with many cultural traditions and I very much enjoyed photographing their winter wedding!
George and Dena first met in 2002 when Dena was 14 and George was 15 on the island of Karpathos, Greece where both of their families are from. Their first memories together are hanging out in the village, going to local bars and spending time with mutual friends. In the summer of 2019, After being friends for 17 years, George and Dena both traveled to Greece. George’s sister Zoe got engaged, and they were all out celebrating. This night sparked something different between the two, they spent hours talking together and realized they had way more in common than they thought. They both wondered, could this lead to something more than just friends? When they returned to New Jersey, George asked Dena out to dinner for an official date. That first week of September, George and Dena spent a lot of time together at the beach, out to restaurants, and even cutting out decorations for the start of Dena’s school year.
George & Dena knew right away this was something different and so special. It instantly clicked after that first week of being together. They spent their first Thanksgiving and Christmas together before the pandemic struck in March of 2020. The pandemic showed George and Dena that they were meant to be even more than they ever imagined.
Engaged on 11/14/2020, the proposal: “On November 14, 2020, George took Dena out to eat at her favorite local restaurant, Patricia’s. Dena was nervous to go out to eat with the pandemic getting worse again, but thought it would be fun to get out of the house. They enjoyed a delicious meal together. When they returned back to Dena’s house and started to walk up the driveway, George used his phone to wirelessly light up the house. “Will you marry me?” lit up in Christmas lights. Dena was shocked!! Before she knew it, George was down on one knee. George spent 9 hours and 800 Christmas lights creating these signs by hand because Dena loves lights and Christmas time so much. He spent months planning this and the moment was perfect.”
Now that Dena and George have finished planning their Grand Marquis Wedding, they hope to have children in the near future. They will continue visiting Greece every summer where George’s parents and both of their extended families live. They hope to bring their children there to learn the traditions and culture each year.
Dena’s advice for couple’s currently planning is to book all of your major vendors right away, then take a break. At the 6 month mark, start getting everything you can done in advance. Dena is a teacher and overly organized, so she suggests creating lists and spreadsheets to keep things on track. Because of this, she found wedding planning to be super easy, George was very helpful in the process too!
For their traditional Greek wedding, Dena was most looking forward to seeing George waiting at the alter and celebrating with all of their friends & family. George couldn’t wait to see Dena walk down the aisle. After their Grand Marquis Wedding, these two honeymooned in Disneyworld!
Every part of our journey through life is sacred and passes by way too quickly. Susan elegantly captures the story of your legacy from the beginning with marriage and throughout motherhood with each special season it brings.
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